UDP demands James’ removal

Staff Reporter

Shillong, March 22: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has sought the immediate removal of the incumbent Power Minister James K Sangma accusing him of ‘mismanagement’ leading to unprecedented power shutdown in the state. 

The UDP, which is also the main ally of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, has also demanded the removal of the Chairman cum Managing Director (CMD) of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL), Arun Kumar Kembhavi.

In a letter to Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma today, UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh said, “In view of the ongoing serious financial bankruptcy and other financial and administrative mismanagement in the power department, plunging the state into an unprecedented power shutdown, affecting the normal life in the state in general, UDP urges your good office, to kindly relieve the power minister and the current CMD of MeECL from their current positions with immediate effect.”

This also came after the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) has regulated power supply to the state after the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation (MePDCL) failed to clear outstanding dues of Rs 504.41 crore.

The notice was served just a few days after the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) had withdrawn regulation of power supply to the state through other power generation companies.

Meanwhile, the NEEPCO has agreed to withdraw the regulation of power supply on condition that the state clears the outstanding dues by April 30.

In a letter to the MeECL Chief Accounts Officers, NEEPCO Executive Director (Commercial) NK Mao informed that Rs 127.54 crore was received on March 19 from REC Limited and Power Finance Corporation Limited (PFC) on behalf of MePDCL towards liquidation of the outstanding dues.

“With regard to your request for withdrawal of regulation of power supply, NEEPCO is willing to consider the same subject to the balance amount of outstanding dues be paid in a single installment within April 30, 2021 and an amount of Rs 125 crore out of the Rs 198.44 crore paid as the 1st installment in January, 2021 is agreed to be adjusted against late payment surcharge,” Mao had said.

He also said that NEEPCO is, however, agreeable to mutually acceptable terms in line with the instructions issued by the Ministry of Power on March 18.

“We request an early response from your end to enable NEEPCO to review the regulation of power supply at the earliest,” Mao stated in the letter.